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Jay T. Last Collection of American Beverage Prints and Ephemera: Finding Aid
priJLC_BEV  
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Collection Details
 
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of American Beverage Prints and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1840-1949
    Bulk dates: approximately 1850-1915
    Collection Number: priJLC_BEV
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 2,650 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: 626-405-3473
    Email: lastcollection@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Jay T. Last Collection of American Beverage Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 2,650 printed items advertising beverage products and related businesses in the United States from the 1840s to the 1940s, with the bulk of the items spanning from 1850 to 1915. The collection consists largely of lithographed ephemeral items produced for American businesses affiliated with the manufacture, distribution, and sale of beverages such as coffee, tea, juice, milk, carbonated beverages, and alcoholic drinks including beer, wine, whiskey, and other liquors.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on February 6, 2014.

    Administration Information

    Access

    The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Call number]. Jay T. Last Collection of American Beverage Prints and Ephemera, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History, which was donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the beverage prints and ephemera were transferred to the Library between 2010 and 2013.

    Background

    The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 185,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

    Scope and Content

    The Jay T. Last Collection of American Beverage Prints and Ephemera contains approximately 2,650 printed items advertising beverage products and related businesses in the United States from the 1840s to the 1940s, with the bulk of the items spanning from 1850 to 1915. The collection consists largely of lithographed ephemeral items produced for American businesses affiliated with the manufacture, distribution, and sale of beverages such as coffee, tea, juice, milk, carbonated beverages, and alcoholic drinks including beer, wine, whiskey, and other liquors.
    Materials are arranged in two series: small-size items (11 x 14 inches or less) and large-size items (more than 11 x 14 inches). Small-size items are described broadly at the series level; large-size items are fully inventoried and all printers, artists, and publishers are indexed by name. The collection includes approximately 40 large-size items comprised mainly of lithographed advertising prints and product labels for tea, coffee, and spirits. Small-size items number approximately 2,600 and contain a variety of promotional materials including trade cards, calendars, die-cut scraps, booklets, and printed billheads and letterheads with manuscript text.
    The collection deals with beverage production, merchandising, advertising, and consumption -- including depictions of families and other groups drinking together -- and the images provide a resource for studying the history of American beer, liquor, coffee, tea, and carbonated beverage industries along with the evolution of their advertising in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Materials in the collection produced for manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic beverages also provide a perspective on their advertising strategies in the face of a growing temperance movement in the United States leading up to Prohibition. As graphic materials, the prints offer evidence of developing techniques and trends in printmaking, and of the artists, engravers, lithographers, printers, and publishers involved in the creative process.

    Note

    The Jay T. Last Collection is a gift in progress. Container numbers may change as the collection expands.

    Alternative Form of Materials Available

    Visit the Huntington Digital Library: Jay T. Last Collection   to view digitized items from this collection.

    Arrangement

    Items are arranged broadly by size in two series, which have been further arranged in subseries according to product type:
    • Series I. Beverage Prints and Ephemera (small size)
      • Subseries A. Beer, Liquor, and Wine (small size)
      • Subseries B. Coffee and Tea (small size)
      • Subseries C. Juice, Soda, and Water (small size)
      • Subseries D. Milk (small size)
    • Series II. Beverage Prints and Ephemera (large size)
      • Subseries A. Subseries A. Beer, Liquor, and Wine (large size)
      • Subseries B. Coffee and Tea (large size)
      • Subseries C. Juice, Soda, and Water (large size)
      • Subseries D. Milk (large size)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Genres

    Billheads.
    Broadsides.
    Business cards.
    Business records.
    Business records -- United States -- 19th century.
    Business records -- United States -- 20th century.
    Calendars.
    Chromolithographs.
    Ephemera.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century.
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century.
    Engravings.
    Labels.
    Leaflets (printed works).
    Letterheads.
    Lithographs.
    Printed ephemera.
    Promotional materials.
    Relief prints.
    Scraps (Decorations)
    Tradecards.
    Views.

    Subjects

    Advertising -- Beer.
    Advertising -- Beverages.
    Advertising -- Carbonated beverages.
    Advertising -- Coffee.
    Advertising -- Liquors.
    Advertising -- Milk.
    Advertising -- Soft drinks.
    Advertising -- Tea.
    Advertising -- Wine.
    Brandy.
    Breweries -- Pictorial works.
    Brewing industry.
    Coffee industry.
    Commercial streets -- Pictorial works.
    Distilleries -- Pictorial works.
    Gin.
    Grain -- Pictorial works.
    Grapes -- Pictorial works.
    Groceries.
    Horse-drawn vehicles -- Pictorial works.
    Industrial buildings -- Pictorial works.
    Mineral water industry.
    Soft drinks -- Pictorial works.
    Storefronts -- Pictorial works.
    Tea trade.
    Whiskey.
    Wine industry.

    Printer, Publisher, Artist Index

    The following is a complete list of printers, publishers, and artists represented in the large-size items in this collection.
    American Fine Art Co.
    American Oleograph Co.
    Berninghaus, Oscar E. (Oscar Edmund), 1874-1952.
    Cosack & Co.
    Crosby, Charles H., 1819-1896.
    Crow, Thomas & Eno.
    Deckert, J.
    Drummond, Dominick I., approximately 1830-1899.
    Ehrgott & Krebs.
    Henderson Lithographing Co.
    Heppenheimer, Frederick, -1878.
    Hinds, Ketcham & Co.
    Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company.
    Kollner, Augustus, 1813-1906.
    Lane & Scott.
    Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing & Lithographic Co.
    Rease, W. H.
    Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith.
    Strobridge & Co. Lith..
    Strobridge Lithographing Company.
    Thomas & Eno.
    Ulffers, Mortiz.
    Wagner & M’Guigan.
    Wittemann Brothers.
    Wimar, Carl, 1828-1862.